How are we doing with conflict? …as communities? …as faith communities?
The MACUCC Restorative Justice Task Team is grappling with this question; we’re thinking about how
restorative justice can help.
Restorative justice practices bring together people affected by a conflict to address needs, in order to make healing possible. In the US, restorative justice has been associated with the criminal justice system— in faith communities, it can open up opportunities for healing and growth and worshiping together in new ways.
Faith communities know better than most that conflict is all around us, sapping us of the energies we need to build beloved communities. Our task team is committed to facilitating and supporting restorative practices in faith communities, hoping that our efforts will scale up to help our wider communities deal well with conflict. We’re talking about moving from conflict resolution to conflict transformation, and we’d love your help.
In March at Super Saturday, we’re hosting a training called “Deepening Tools for Daily Living in this Difficult Time: Cultivating a Listening Congregation” with trainer Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson. There will be an overview of the restorative circle process that opens the door to conversation when communities are faced with conflict. We’ll engage in dialogue that highlights the skills and challenges of good listening. (Download a flyer here.) We’d love for you to join us.
Following up on this training, we invite other communities of faith to join us in developing opportunities for learning and using restorative practices in our own faith communities and beyond. Please email us if you are interested.
We also have a task team member who will travel to congregations to facilitate circle process conversations with small groups, especially youth groups. Visit us online or feel free to reach out to me or other members of the task team to talk more about future restorative justice trainings and the work of the restorative justice task team.
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